SAP has announced SAP Intelligent Asset Management. This is a set of solutions that provides what most vendors call Enterprise Asset Management. The inference is that this does more. The set of solutions appear to deliver the combined feature set that SAP has been slowly building over the last few years. It contains collaborative asset intelligence, planning, prediction and simulation to the solution.
The announcement came during MAINTCON 2018, held in Bahrain. SAP is not the only firm to look at predictive maintenance. Both Infor and IFS continue to drive improvements in their own software, with IFS recently winning a significant deal in China.
What SAP appears to be doing is take EAM beyond just integrating IoT and simple analytics. It is applying artificial intelligence and creating digital twins of assets to significantly extend the traditional functionality of EAM.
The set of solutions will include SAP Predictive Engineering Insights, launched earlier this year. This provides the digital twin capability that can help manufacturers and asset operators to better understand the performance of equipment both real and hypothetical.
Hala Zeine, president, SAP Digital Supply Chain, SAP commented: “We are delivering intelligent technologies to help our customers define, plan, execute and monitor optimal service and maintenance strategies to drive smarter decisions, improve reliability and reduce outages. SAP Intelligent Asset Management helps our customers connect digitally with a single data set across all assets so that they can perfect reality from design to operation.”
Bringing technologies together
SAP is bringing several technologies together to form the Intelligent Asset Management solution. These include five cloud technologies that share a common data set in SAP HANA. The solutions compliment S/4HANA and other ERP solutions. The five solutions provide:
- centralized asset intelligence
- collaboration and networks
- strategy and performance
- condition monitoring, prediction and simulation.
- mobile asset management.
The intelligence is provided by SAP Leonardo, SAP’s Artificial Intelligence platform. This includes IoT and machine learning. It supports technologies such as Digital twins, 3D visualisation and predictive engineering insights mentioned above.
Greg Gorbach, vice president, ARC Advisory Group commented: “Industrial managers know that it’s no longer sufficient to be reactive when it comes to managing assets. Companies need a collection of technologies to support new services and to substantially reduce unplanned equipment downtime. Sensor-enabled equipment, digital twins, a common data set and machine learning–based predictive capabilities are all required. An intelligent approach is to deploy integrated technologies and enable collaboration among networked stakeholders who can access shared data in support of common business goals.”
What does this mean
For manufacturers the range of SAP solutions for Asset Management provides opportunities to:
- Enhance the maintenance of existing equipment, prolonging life and reducing, potentially eliminating down time.
- Make strategic decisions about expensive equipment, planning in good time for the future rather than having to make rapid decisions due to a crisis. The also helps with financial planning.
- The mobile enablement of the solution ensures that data is updated and shared where needed, at the point of operation or remotely, far from the actual equipment.
Digital Twins provide the ability to model usage, not just as equipment demonstrates unusual behaviour but also in new scenarios that may or may not occur. For example, should a heat wave happen next year, what would be the impact on the equipment. Should precautions such as air conditioning be consider to remove or reduce risk of failure.
More information around the SAP Intelligent Asset Management is in this blog by Vineet Hingorani and Robert Meusel. While it provides further information there is not a clear breakdown of the components of the newly announced solution. In fact there does not appear to be anything new about this announcement other than SAP are pulling its products together in a package that delivers a fully integrated solution to clients. It probably could and should have done this earlier and clients probably could have bought them all together as well. SAP has not provided any costs around this announcement either, with bundling everything together one might have expected that.